PhysX and APEX Support for Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 4

NVIDIA has announced that there PhysX and NVIDIA® APEX software development kits will be a major part of the upcoming Playstation 4 gaming system. The inclusion of this technology will allow upcoming games to have a greater real-world enviornment with better smoak and destruction features according to the developer.

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Dylila1453d ago

awesome. i cant wait for ps4

The_Infected1453d ago

Anyone know why Sony chose AMD over Nvidia? Just curious.

SandWitch1453d ago

Noone knows, but most likely because of better price

T9001453d ago

Its definetely got to do with the price.

You see Sony wanted the CPU/GPU to be on one chip. Thats a huge cost saving.

Intel- isnt in the position to do that - since their CPUs are darn good, but GPUs suck.

Nvidia- Well Nvidia doesnt have CPUs so they are out of the picture

AMD- and then there is AMD, Although AMD CPUs might be average to poor their GPUs are right up there with Nvidia. Hence AMD was the most cost effective choice for a CPU / GPU setup on a single chip.

vulcanproject1453d ago

Well its not too hard. AMD could offer them the whole package, CPU, GPU, memory controller, all on one die.

Attractive for console manufacturers looking to cut costs where they can and simplify their supply chain.

The_Infected1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

Thanks guys for the answers. I was just curious and it makes pretty good since now that you mention it. I'm sure Sony talked to their 1st part developers like ND and GG. So I'm guessing they were fine with the APU being just 1.6ghz with 8 cores. Is the CPU really that powerful for next gen and games coming from developers such as ND who push limits the best?

AKS1453d ago


The PS4 should have plenty of power to be a substantial upgrade over the PS3. The other components generally don't stand out the way the RAM does, but the key aspect of the architecture is that it will be easier and more flexible for developers and reasonably economical with the CPU/GPU configuration.

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MooseWI1453d ago

Has to be price, they're always cheaper. PhysX is a good thing though, glad they got that.

WeedyOne1453d ago

PhysX is horribly optimized for AMD graphics cards though, wonder if this means they have tweeked the software so that it can be ran more efficiently on the cpu.

If thats the case i would hope they implement the same changes to physX on pc's because my AMD card suffers horribly running physX. Not because my graphics card sucks but because nvidia optimized physX to run best on their cards and horribly optimized it for the CPU on purpose so that it runs crappy on AMD cards.

mandf1453d ago

Nvidia chose to stop with console hardware and focus on mobile hardware. There was an article this week about it.

Grap1453d ago

u do realize that GPU in console are mobile GPU.

mandf1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

The share holders meeting chose to focus on mobile phone tech because their target audience would be larger and they could save resources focusing on one market instead of fragmenting their company resources. I'm just restating what they said. I have no dog in the fight.

kevnb1453d ago

the console gpu is more like a laptop one, w are talking about tablets and phones.

DeadlyFire1453d ago

Better price, lower TDP on average. Performance has always been neck and neck between AMD and NVIDIA. So they don't lose any performance.

AMD has CPU tech and GPU tech.

NVIDIA has yet to showcase its CPU tech. Which likely wouldn't be far off from Jaguar cores in its first edition roll out.

Ju1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

APUs? Who else can build something like that?

Benefits of heterogeneous computing, low TDP, probably size of silicon, manufacturing process (28nm) and hence low cost in a quite interesting performance envelope.

CPU/GPU/memory integration is crucial for a console. Otherwise you will have to go to one cpu manufacturer, a gpu vendor and hope these two guys will speak the same language with you being in the middle. We saw how that worked out with IBM and NVidia, didn't we?

NVidia only has ARM cores, and those are - despite all promises - not the fastest around.

Intel has no compute IP which could compete with either AMD nor NVidea, ARM or SGX or anybody else is not on the level, either.

IBM is just IBM. They rather build servers.

OpenGL1453d ago

And AMD's Bobcat/Jaguar core design are not the fastest around either, in fact the Jaguar cores would be closer in performance to ARM Cortex A15 than Ivy Bridge or Haswell.

But I agree that for a game console AMD made the most sense, although I wonder how exactly Sony managed to get past the terms of Intel's x86 licensing agreement. It sets strict rules on who exactly can manufacture an x86 CPU, and it also means that Sony likely does not own the design of the PS4 APU, so manufacturing it on their own with 3rd party contractors to cut costs will be more difficult a few years down the road.

Also Haswell's IGP supports DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2, and OpenGL 4.0, and should offer reasonably good compute performance. On top of that some versions of Haswell are expected to come with 128MB of eDRAM which could be quite useful. Using Intel in a console however is not feasible because the "Intel tax" would be detrimental to low-cost console manufacturing, and Intel would not allow anyone else to manufacture their own CPUs/APUs.

Ju1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

I'd think it's still AMD IP. It's their APU and it won't change. They probably have an NDA that AMD can't share Sony IP - which I think includes the ARM Network processor and video encoder/decoder which probably has been integrated onto the APU die. But Sony does not manufacture chips (any more); especially @ 28nm. I guess they buy it from AMD as a whole. AMD can sell it to Sony but nobody else I'd guess.

eDRAM is not what you'd want to have for HSA. You'd need bandwidth in both directions. And nobody else has anything comparable ATM. eDRAM with a fast RAM interface would not increase performance by much (if at all) but simply add to the cost. And you still couldn't do heterogeneous computing without bottle necks. eDRAM is just a texture cache, not much more.

Well, you can run OpenCL on a CPU compute target. Doesn't say much about performance, though. And OpenCL benefits extremely from the high bandwidth of a shared CPU/GPU architecture (@ 176GB/s) because it needs both, scalar (CPU) and vector (GPU) instructions.

OpenGL 4.0 does not support compute in the graphics pipeline (4.3 does), and most likely Sony will use their own extended libGCM 2.0 with this thing (and probably a new version of PSGL).

Intels IGPs are not even close to the integration level of APUs. I am curios to see how Jaguar performs, though. Especially because it is bundled with GDDR5 which currently is hard to tell what that actually means for CPU benchmarks.

And, despite all people saying this is a PC, HSA is actually much closer to what devs are used to on the PS3 - using PPU, SPU and shader cores to perform co-operative operations - than simply throwing some draw calls down the render pipeline; which will happen with all straight PC ports coming to the PS4. HSA is where the PS4 will shine and where it has a quite big advantage for a couple of years to come. I think devs used to the CELL will have no problems adapting; while strictly PC developers will need to adjust again.

OpenGL1453d ago

AMD doesn't manufacture their APUs, Global Foundries does, and Intel still owns the x86 instruction set, AMD is just licensing it.

Haswell is an APU, and the eDRAM can be used by both the CPU and GPU component of Haswell and is included because sharing DDR3 between the CPU and GPU in dual-channel mode does not provide enough bandwidth for gaming, which is an issue with AMD's current-gen APUs. Obviously this won't be an issue on the PS4, but Haswell isn't competing with the PS4's custom APU. You wouldn't be running OpenCL on the CPU, but the GPU which is at least 2x as fast as the Intel HD 4000. Haswell follows many of the design cues of HSA.

Ivy Bridge was already more integrated than anything AMD has released thus far as the GPU can read and write to the L3 cache. Now obviously compared to the APU in the PS4, Haswell's GPU will still seem fairly limited, but compared to AMD's desktop/laptop 2013 APU roadmap, it will be pretty competitive.

JsonHenry1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

AMD has a better price/power/performance ratio and has for years. Not to mention AMD is willing to sell the rights to the custom chips which allows Sony/MS to control the cost and future iterations of the chip. If I am not mistaken that is why MS chose them for the 360 over Nvidia which they used in the original Xbox.

And of course Nvidia is willing to allow the use of these programs. If the royalty pay out is right why not?

Ju1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

I'm curios in this respect how they can take advantage of the low level programming, though. Obviously it would make sense to have PhysX HW accelerated on the PS4 (using shaders). So, either the AMD API is open and NVidea is using that inhouse or Sony does the low level stuff and contributes it to NVidea. I highly doubt that AMD is doing the adaption. Either way, NVidia is getting access to AMDs tech to some extend. Interesting. Not sure how deep that would go and if they can take away anything from it. But still. OTOH, I am curios if there is something like CUDA for AMD (in some secret lab or something).

ginsunuva1453d ago (Edited 1453d ago )

Price. I can 100% confirm that.
AMD gives CPU + GPU bundle deals to Sony and MS, whereas Nvidia has no x86 CPU's to bundle. More convenient to go with AMD, unfortunately

Morgan_Freeman1453d ago

Microsoft worked wit NVidia for the original Xbox and they were apparently a giant pain in the ass to work with.

Athonline1453d ago

AMD is well-known embedded systems manufacture, with APUs in development for years. nVidia only recently started with "Tegra"... Moreover nVidia believes in GP-GPU computing, thus while Sony could "keep" the x86 architecture, the algorithms would be different -parallel programming. This would make PS4 a PS3-Cell situation with developers need more time to develop/ port. With AMD Sony ensured both a CPU and GPU are present for both linear and parallel processing, depending on the task.

Plus AMD is known for a better value for money.

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Garethvk1453d ago

Often times a price is negotiated for the tech. Sort of a here is what we need what will you charge us to put your tech in our units. There is also times where a company pays to be incluced, depends on the project. I think you may see AMD in the Xbox now.

Crueltylizer1453d ago

Really really glad to see nvidia taking the step to make PhysX and Apex available for next-gen!

GiggMan1453d ago

This is really good news.

first1NFANTRY1453d ago

keep rolling in the support. ps4 is looking brighter by the hour.

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